If you are new to fitness and working out, you may think that racking up 7-8 hours of intense exercises per week will fetch you instant results. However, exercising too much could make you prone to injuries and not allow your body to recover.
At the same time, exercising too little and infrequently could also demotivate you as you don’t see any tangible results!
So how much exercise is enough? What are the recommended standards?
Fortunately, we have a guide to help you identify the same! First things first, your exercise routine depends primarily on your health and fitness goals.
Let us address them one-by-one.
General Physical Fitness Guidelines
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), healthy adults should try to achieve 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 hours to 5 hours) of moderate physical activity per week. However, if you participate in vigorous, high-intensity aerobic exercises, you can cut it down to 75 to 150 minutes (1.25 hours to 2.5 hours) per week.
For children, exercising is an excellent way to promote growth and development. Thus, their exercise routine should contain a mix of various activities ranging from running and biking to hiking and swimming.
The HHS recommends children and adolescents (ages 6 to 17) to spend at least an hour for moderate to vigorous physical activity. A significant chunk of this activity should focus on aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercises, aka isotonic exercises, cover repetitive actions involving prominent muscles to increase breathing and heart rates. Some of the comments examples of aerobic exercises include running, swimming, brisk walking, and cycling.
Additionally, individuals must also focus on maintaining flexibility and building strength through activities like Yoga or Tai Chi. Further, you can indulge in muscle-building and developing exercises 2-3 times a week.
Exercise Required for Losing Weight
Weight loss is one of the primary motivations that get people into exercising. However, weight loss requires a holistic approach where you have you complement your workout routine with a healthy diet. The primary aim is to burn more calories than you consume.
With the above fact in mind, for your weight loss exercises to be effective, you must dedicate about an hour to moderate exercising for 5-days in a week. You can comfortably divide the one-hour routine into smaller pockets depending on your ability and availability.
Continue exercising even after you lose weight to avoid putting it back on.
Exercise for Promoting Cardiovascular Health
One of the greatest advantages of exercising comes in the form of enhanced cardiovascular health. For maintaining overall cardiovascular health, the Americal Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises per day for five days a week. In the remaining two days, you can focus on strength-building exercises to build and preserve your lean muscles.
If you suffer from any heart-related condition, always consult your doctor to know which exercises are safe for you.
Exercise for Recreation
When you are exercising for fun, you do not necessarily have to monitor it. You can workout for as long as it feels comfortable.
One of the greatest advantages of exercising for recreation comes in the form of mood stability and better stress management. When you start feeling overwhelmed by work, it is always a good practice to step back and exercise! You could do anything from light warm-up and stretching to running on the treadmill or weight lifting. Regardless of the exercise, you will come back feeling rejuvenated and can think clearer.
How to Get the Most of Your Exercise
Irrespective of your fitness goals, the following tips can help you make the most of every exercise session:
- Listen to your body. If you experience strain or strange aches, it is your body asking you to turn it down a notch.
- ALWAYS warm-up before any exercise, and cool down right after.
- Schedule recovery days.
- Assemble a suitable workout outfit. Activewear, like infrared clothing, could prevent injuries and boost your energy levels!
- Research on the right techniques before trying out the exercises.
- Remember to stay hydrated.
- Try out different exercises and mix up your routine to reduce the risk of injury or overtraining.
Exercise is never a bad thing. It can not only bring your body and form into one you've always desired. So stay fit and keep working out.